The Wildest Places to See Dinosaurs in Orlando
In Universal Pictures' Jurassic World and Jurassic Park blockbusters, dinosaurs roam the earth ... but you don't need to visit a movie theater to find prehistoric beasts in Orlando. Whether you're hunting Velociraptors, Triceratops or even the mighty Tyrannosaurus rex, you'll find them at theme parks and attractions all over town — just watch those teeth once you track them down!
DinoDigs at Orlando Science Museum (via GIPHY)
Universal Orlando ® Resort
Given their studio ties to the Jurassic Park and Jurassic World film franchises, it's no surprise that Universal Orlando Resort offers multiple opportunities to see dinosaurs, starting with two rides at Universal's Islands of Adventure.
First, Jurassic Park River Adventure will take you on a white-water raft journey featuring an 85-foot, pitch-black plunge, as well as the mighty T. rex. If that might be a little too thrilling for your youngest family members, Pteranodon Flyers is a kid-friendly, high-soaring journey aboard the flying reptiles.
Next, grab some prehistoric selfies at Islands of Adventure's Raptor Encounter, where you can pose with and learn about the featured dinosaur. Movie buffs will also be interested to know that this attraction was recently updated to feature Blue, the most popular raptor from 2015's Jurassic World.
Universal's Raptor Encounter (via GIPHY)
Later this summer, Universal Studios Florida will debut Universal Orlando Resort's Cinematic Celebration, an all-new nighttime spectacular starring characters from Universal's most popular attractions and movies — including Jurassic World! And Loews Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Orlando recently unveiled Jurassic World Kids' Suites, featuring a standard king bedroom for two adults and a connected, dinosaur-themed kids' room with two beds designed to look like Jurassic World's gyrosphere vehicles.
Walt Disney World Resort
Not for the faint of heart, the signature attraction here is DINOSAUR, a thrilling journey through time to an age when enormous reptiles still walked the earth. If potentially scary rides aren't for you and your family, Primeval Whirl promises a fast time for riders 48 inches and taller, while TriceraTop Spin is fun for all heights and ages.
Disney's DINOSAUR (via GIPHY)
There's more dinosaur action to be had here, too. For instance, The Boneyard is an open-air play space with fossil-digging activities for younger guests. You'll also want to make time for a selfie with Dino-Sue, a reproduction of a massive T. rex that was found in South Dakota. And in honor of the park's 20th anniversary celebration, Disney's most famous ducks are coming to DinoLand U.S.A. for Donald's Dino-Bash, featuring new décor and festively dressed characters.
Want to eat with the king of dinosaurs? Grab a table at T-REX Cafe, part of the dining lineup at Disney Springs. In addition to themed dishes, this unique restaurant boasts a menagerie of animatronic dinosaurs ... including its namesake monster!
LEGOLAND Florida Resort
At LEGOLAND Florida Resort, prehistoric fun starts early thanks to giant LEGO dinosaur sculptures close to the park's entrance. What's more, LEGOLAND's Land of Adventure section has a reptilian roller coaster like no other: Coastersaurus!
Designed for riders at least 42 inches tall, the wooden coaster travels through a prehistoric jungle populated by animated and life-sized LEGO brick dinosaurs. And theme park historians, take note: Coastersaurus predates LEGOLAND, having been part of the current park's predecessor, Cypress Gardens, where it was known as the Triple Hurricane. In addition to the new name and dino décor, the ride gained several other updates during its LEGOLAND makeover.
Located about 50 minutes southwest of Walt Disney World, Dinosaur World is one of Central Florida's most unique attractions, presenting more than 200 realistic, life-sized dinosaur sculptures in a natural setting. It also offers a wealth of interactive exhibits designed to capture kids' imaginations, plus live shows, a museum and a full-featured, dino-themed playground.
Guests are invited to bring their own snacks and non-alcoholic beverages in coolers. Dogs on leashes are also welcome, giving you a once-in-a-lifetime chance to get a photo of Fido fending off a dinosaur!
Orlando Science Center
Primarily geared toward kids and their families, the Orlando Science Center is one of Orlando's best STEM attractions, packed with hands-on exhibits and intriguing live programs. You'll find numerous Exhibit Halls and Science Stations throughout, but dinosaur-lovers will want to head straight to DinoDigs!
At the exhibit's paleontological excavation site, kids can dig for fossil replicas of dinosaurs and prehistoric sea creatures. They'll also be able to learn about the similarities and differences between modern reptiles and dinosaurs, and explore informative displays about ancient reptiles from land and sea. The Orlando Science Center is in Loch Haven Park, about 10 minutes from downtown Orlando.
Learn more: Orlando STEM Attractions for Kids
Orlando's Official Visitor Center
There's one more place to see a dinosaur while you're in Orlando: our Official Visitor Center, conveniently located on International Drive next to Mango's Tropical Café. This is a great place to get answers to your questions, trusted planning resources, immersion into some of our most popular attractions, and even a free gift bag (while supplies last). And now, it gives you the chance to take a selfie with one of Jurassic Park's Raptors, courtesy of Universal Orlando Resort.
While you're there, say "hi" to our knowledgeable Vacation Guides and they'll be happy to help you make the most of your time in Orlando ... not to mention take a photo of you with the Raptor. Dino-mite!
Written by Nate Shelton, consumer content writer at Visit Orlando. He's an experienced journalist and native Floridian who enjoys the entertainment, cultural and culinary aspects of Orlando and Orange County.
Cover image courtesy Extreme Dinosaurs
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